February 26, 2024

I am a little amused and saddened by this. The Diablo Valley College Night Jazz Band is having a “Benefit Concert” to raise funds to turn it into a fee based class. Read it again. Don’t understand? Ok, so the junior college has a music department. Good so far right? Ok, and a night jazz band. And it appears that the people who have been in the band for decades don’t want to pay more to play in the band. I mean, they cut it down to a half a unit years ago. I have no clue how they wiggled that through. So, basically, the band members were paying something like $35 a semester to play in a band. But the state was paying for the lights, the facility, oh, and the instructors salary to run the band.

If the state was flush with money, sure, the band sort of brings attention to the school. Maybe attracts high school kids to continue to pursue music. Bring in a big named artist to play with the bands. Maybe do a CD. That’s all good in my book….if there is money for it. Having the same people in the band for years, and years, and decades…..and fudging numbers to get the class to be cheap? Not so good. Why can’t the Math department have Calculus as a .5 unit class? Or all the other departments have classes like that?

I have no sympathy. 90% of the people playing in the night band are not students. Or rather, not full time students at DVC. 90% of them are either retired, full time musicians, doctors, or in a similar situation. Meaning, they could afford to pool their money together to make their “class” a fee based one. So they would have to pay a lot more to use the college’s resources. Boohoo.

What angers me the most is the whole idea of a “benefit concert”. A “Benefit Concert”, according to the dictionary is “a concert given for the benefit of some charitable cause”. How is the Night Jazz Band a “charitable cause”? It isn’t.

There are PLENTY of things that need “benefit concerts” in the area. Like maybe last year when the Mount Diablo School district decided to ax most all of the non-tenured music teachers. So the really good instructors at, say College Park High School, got axed and they floated in one of the tenured people they can’t get rid of (who was doing like elementary music or something?) ito do the bands. They could of used a “benefit concert” to maybe help raise money to support the teachers. Did the DVC Night Jazz Band donate their time to do that or do anything like that? As far as I know…..NO. Oh, but they did make a CD with Bob Mintzer last year. I’m sure ALL the money from that is going to good causes like supporting education and……yeah…….

Suck it up guys….the free ride is over. Or the cheap ride. You all should be ashamed to even use the word “benefit concert” when referring to the band. Sickening.

And “passing hats for donations”? Really? That is just sad.

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